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What makes a character engaging? A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

We meet Harry, the protagonist of Patrick Gale’s novel, as he endures horrific psychiatric ‘therapy’ in an asylum. Why then, for almost the first third of the book, do I find it so hard to care about Harry? However, this changes, by the middle of the novel I was gripped by the story, and cared a great deal about what happened to Harry, and to his friends. The story unfolds against a convincing background of hostility to homosexuals, emigration from Europe to ‘the colonies’, persecution of Native Americans, WW1, Spanish flu, and (at-the -time) novel psychiatric treatments Continue reading

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Fresh thoughts in January – Butternut squash rissoles

  Something to use up a small butternut squash? This one seemed to have been dropped or (of course) squashed. There’s a squished bit on the side. A veggie main or a carnivorous husband’s side dish. Slightly spicy so it … Continue reading

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Roast Beetroot Soup

Ingredients: 4 medium beetroot, 1 onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 inch ginger root, olive oil, 1/2 teasp grated nutmeg, 1 small orange, generous teasp horseradish sauce, salt, pepper, sour cream/creme fraiche or yoghurt to finish Makes 4 bowls soup. Roast … Continue reading

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